Alternatives to sharing and turn-taking

Alternatives to sharing and turn-taking

  • If you are at a playground, children will be required to turn-take by default. You can minimise conflict by giving a transitional warning that your child’s turn is coming to an end and help the waiting child be patient by knowing what is going on. 

    An example of this is on the swings. Another child comes along and would like to have a turn. You can announce out loud to your child that someone else is waiting, so we need to have 10 more pushes then it will be time to hop off. You can then tell the waiting child that it will be their turn in 10 more pushes. This will usually diffuse the situation as the boundaries are very clear to all. If your child had only just got on the swing, you could explain to the waiting child that they will need to wait for a bit, then do the ‘10 pushes’ warning at the end.
  • Explain to your child that if they bring toys from home to a shared event, party or playground, other children will likely want to have a turn of it and are they comfortable with that as a possibility. If they aren’t comfortable, suggest they leave the toy in the car or at home. You could then use communal toys to build their ‘turn-taking’ muscles for practice.
  • If having children over to your house, a good idea to avoid any possessiveness and fighting over your child’s toys is to cover your children’s toys over with a tablecloth. This keeps the toys out of sight (if they are in a communal area on shelves etc.). Bring out a box of toys you keep hidden away that are only bought out for this purpose. In my house, we predominantly have natural wood toys and Montessori inspired activities. I have kept the plastic, battery-operated toys that people have given us in a big plastic archive tub in the garage. When we have visitors over, I bring the tub out, and my girls are captivated by these toys as they are a huge novelty. There is no ‘possessiveness’ over them as they aren’t viewed as ‘their’ personal toys. The visitors’ children and my girls end up playing happily for hours with minimal conflict – winning!

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